Then You Crash Into Me: The Commercial Real Estate Industry after Legalized Marijuana

herb-2915337The love/hate relationship that seems to be forming between the Commercial Real Estate industry and Marijuana may or may not be on your radar, but it is reality.

Fully legal in nine states, one inhabited territory, three native-American reservations, not to mention Washington D.C., it’s impact has been felt across multiple industries. Some cheer, others protest, but regardless, we in the commercial real estate industry need to be educated on the basic legalities as it has become commonplace for medical use and in some areas, recreationally acceptable as well. The federal law mandates that it be grown and manufactured in the state in which it is sold/consumed.

The demand and, in turn, the value for warehouse and industrial properties has significantly increased in affected regions. Climate controlled warehouses and distressed properties including former storage, data, and manufacturing are all being acquistioned and repurposed. Even the limping retail sector has been affected as in those states where retail sales have been sanctioned, as marijuana retail shops have breathed life into some of those long-time vacancies.

Here’s a run down of the basics for our region:

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana approved by Governor Wolf in April of 2016

Maryland: Decriminalized and Medical Use/Manufacturing/Distribution approved

Delaware: Decriminalized and Medical Use/Manufacturing/Distribution approved

New Jersey: Governor Jon Corzine signed Medical Marijuana law in January of 2010

 

There are concerns that this may be another real estate bubble that eventually pops. Even though concerns remain, this industry has sparked new property interest and investment pursuits that we in the industry cannot deny. Both Brokers and Property Owners alike seem to be riding the wave while they can. Time will tell as always.

 

 

 

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Population Increases in this Town that Started with a Tavern

WestchesterThis town that was originally granted to a a ship captain by William Penn himself. In  1762, Phineas Eachus and Chest Weaterson were given a license to construct a tavern in West Chester, PA.  This former “no-name” tavern operated for almost 200 years as a tavern/hotel and served as a pseudo-stock exchange platform (on its front porch) for the local banks in the town, where the public could purchase in an auction format.

Chester_County_Courthouse_PA_2015

Known as the dining destination for the Brandywine Valley, West Chester has recently received new notariety as the fastest growing town in entire state of Pennsylvania. Why do newcomers flock to West Chester to do life?

Some suggest:

  • Walkability
  • Historic Location
  • Great Schools
  • Low Crime Rate
  • Diversity
  • West Chester University
  • Great Retail District
  • Festivals/Events/Things to Do/Parks & Recreation
  • Haute Restaurant Hub
(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia By Camerafiend – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58340546,Zoewscott at English Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Regional police department gets township approval | Chester County Press

There is a merger expected to join West Grove and New Garden police departments in January 2017.  It is said that this is in an effort to economize the police department to scale, so that they can improve and enhance their services to the local communities.  At this point, New Garden is said to be bearing the brunt of the costs at a liability of 80% while West Grove, a smaller municipality will be responsible for 20% of the costs. It is the hope that a “larger operation” would stabilize coverage and improve investigations. There is talk of a new facility as well, but no concrete detail on that as of yet.  Read more via the link provided below.

Source: Regional police department gets township approval | Chester County Press

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2015 Opportunities

MLK dayHere are some great ways to participate in the MLK Day of Service events in the Greater Philadelphia area:

African American Museum of Philadelphia – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sharing the Heritage Celebration and Date of Service – 11 AM – 5 PM at 7th and Arch

MLK Social Action Day Concert – The Chester Children’s Chorus – 1 PM – Congregation Ohev Shalom, 2 Chester Rd, Wallingford, PA

Macy’s Family Days at the National Constitution Center – Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from 9:30 AM – 5 PM only $5 admission fee today

Health and Wellness Fair at Girard College 8 AM – 2101 S. College Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Jobs and Opportunity Fair – 9 AM till 1 PM inside Hum Bldg at Girard College

MLK Tribute Concert in the Girard College Chapel – 1:30 PM – Free admission but tickets are required (215) 893-1999

US Forest Service recreation sites are waiving their fees today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

PA Acquisitions News – CrossAmerica Partners LP and CST Brands

new-name-slideAn Allentown company, CrossAmerica Partners LP and its partner CST Brands Inc have conjoined in an agreement for the purchase of Erickson Oil Products Inc. and specific related assets. CrossAmerica is a leader in wholesale distribution of motor fuels. This $85M deal will allow CrossAmerica to initially operate all of the Freedom Valu convenience stores, but is expected to transfer the operations over a period of time. Gary Vander Vorst, President of Erickson Oil feels that this acquisitions will promote Erickson’s growth and cause it to be more competitive. This opportunity has also opened new doors to new markets for CST and CrossAmerica. The transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2015.

CAP

(Photos Courtesy of CrossAmericaPartners.com)

Rental Construction Activity Increases in Greater Delaware Valley Region

As the housing market slowly attempts to turn the corner, the rental demand remains high for our particular region. Some areas report up to 20% increases in rental inventory. New construction is playing a large part in those numbers. Does this mean that the financial institutions are loosening up the purse strings for development loans? Possibly. In 2011, there was a 60% increase in Multi-Family Development Lending as compared to the previous year on a national level. The Census Bureau reported one outstanding statistic that 53% of the total number of renter households faced a housing cost burden last year. Unemployment remains high. Affordable housing is a treasure anxiously sought after. Rental rates remain high even paired alongside of the housing market slight improvements. Right now as it stands, renters make up approximately 22.64% of the Chester County, PA, population. 4.97% of houses and apartments in Chester County, PA, are unoccupied (vacancy rate).